Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente of Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construcción industry. Hartmann has been successful improving Safety, Productivity and Profitability by speaking Spanish on the jobsite. Hartmann lived in Guadalajara, México during his undergraduate studies and later earned his MBA. Hartmann also teaches Construction Spanish at Purdue University’s Building Construction Management Program. He has authored 2 books - Spanish Twins: Start Speaking Spanish on the Construction Site with Words You Already Know and Safety Spanish: Simple Spanish Skills for Solving Safety Problems. Hartmann would love to hear your thoughts digitally at firstname.lastname@example.org or verbally at 630.234.7321.
Shawn Coyne is a writing partner to Steven Pressfield. Mr. Pressfield wrote The War of Art, the most important book ever written for people that do.
Anyway, Shawn Coyne wrote a fantastic piece titled, The Courage to Do Nothing. Read it here.
In it Coyne praises the ability to do nothing in light of the ferocious pressure applied to reacting quickly. Specifically when the thinking is creative. But Coyne cautions:
“Business decisions are creative work too.”
This is often overlooked.
Sometimes the creative solution comes when your mind has a chance to rest.
Sometimes choosing to do nothing is best.
“The courage to do nothing at all is all about remembering that you don’t know everything. You are capable about changing your ideas about things. You can hold two opposing thoughts in your head without jumping off a cliff. Really you can. You can hate taxes and also believe that the government should raise them to help people incapable of taking care of themselves.”
This is important.
We all need to know we can change our minds.
We have the ability to break what had once been an unblemished record of one-way thinking.
You can change your mind.
You can adapt to new information.
Rarely is life a binary selection - the choice of one of two options.
A or B.
True or False.
Black or White.
Man or Mouse.
In or Out.
Do or Die.
Life rarely works this way.
You can afford to sleep on it.
Let it stew.
Construction managers are struggling with the increasing role of Hispanics on our jobsites. They admire the work Hispanics do, often the most dangerous and physically demanding. Hispanics do the work no one else wants.
Yet CM comportment ranges from subtle irritation to rage as the English-Spanish language barrier impacts the job, most prominently in jobsite injuries. Hispanics are nearly 2x as likely to be injured or killed than any other ethnicity.
So what do we do?
How do we resolve this conflict?
First, give yourself room to think.
This is not a binary choice: Yea or Nay.
Coyne & Pressfield know great stories are built on conflict and resolution.
Life is built on conflict and resolution.
This diversity story on our jobsites is just starting to be told.
Be open to working towards a collaborative narrative.
You can hold two opposing thoughts in your head at the same time.
Do Hispanics play a critical role in the success of our jobsites?
Would it be nice if all Hispanic construction workers learned English?
Now let’s start working more closely together to write the ending….